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March 6th, 2014

A Viral Angry Mob Was Not the Kind of Viral You Were Hoping For

A Viral Angry Mob Was Not the Kind of Viral You Were Hoping For

Last week the news around the social media water cooler was that Kelly Blazek had been nasty to someone via email, then the recipient of that email posted it to Reddit, and the rest is sad history involving an angry Internet mob with virtual pitchforks.

The lesson seems obvious, “don’t treat people badly, there’s an Internet out there”.  Of course, not being a jerk is a generally good rule of thumb for life, regardless.

Still, even if it seems a lack of common sense and common decency brought down Blazek, this kind of rabid, online take-down keeps some businesses up at night. “What if…what if there’s a misstep and we can’t control it?”

You’re right to be worried. We’re not going to lie.  You can be a darling one day, and the most hated personality/business/organization the next. With one misplaced word, one wrong joke, one rogue employee, one bad day, one loss of temper.

It doesn’t take much to whip up an angry Internet mob.

If that doesn’t make you tremble in your Facebook-inspired boots, we don’t know what will.

Ok, hold on. Lean in here so we can give you a few hints to ease your mind and help you avoid being on the receiving end of an Internet smack-down.

1.  Don’t be a hypocrite – the truth is, Blazek’s error was not that she was a jerk to someone; it was that she acted hypocritically. Online she presented herself as a humble, “just here to help” kind of person. In the offending email she acted arrogant, dismissive, rude, unkind, and certainly not helpful. No one likes hypocrisy. In fact, people really hate hypocrisy. It’s a form of lying, and it’s a trust-breaker. There are plenty of online personalities who get away with being a jerk because they don’t pretend to be anything else.

2. Never Step on the Underdog – Everyone loves the underdog, so take care not to step on one. If you do, expect the angry mob to rush in to defend and protect.  Underdogs are anyone who are earnest and have less power than you.

3. Be careful with the jokes – but not so careful that you have zero sense of humor. If you want to play it safe, stay away from politically incorrect jokes, or generally making a joke at someone else’s expense. Even Ellen Degeneres can’t always get away with her jokes. One safe avenue is to keep your jokes “in-house” – in other words, make fun of yourself.

4. Respond quickly to criticism – the longer someone waits for an apology, the angrier they get. If you get a phone call or email from an unhappy customer/client, respond in a timely manner. If you’re not able to respond within 12 hours, set up an auto-response letting people know how long the expected reply time is. Your first line of defense is to resolve complaints offline. If a customer takes to Social Media with their complaint, you have little time to respond before anger at being “ignored” sets in. Have a system for monitoring in place so you’re ready to respond.

5. Go beyond the apology – If you find yourself having to apologize to someone online, go beyond the apology and into the lesson.

This doesn’t cover every possible scenario, but implementing the above tips will help you avoid some major mishaps in Social Media. One other piece of advice…make sure someone with high emotional intelligence is at the helm of your Social Media.

Photo credit:  1931 Frankenstein movie still

 

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February 20th, 2014

6 Reasons You Need to be Tracking Your Social Media Metrics

6 Reasons You Need to be Tracking Your Social Media Metrics

It’s 2014.  Social Media is a household name, yet some businesses still aren’t leveraging its power, and more still aren’t maximizing it.

At this point, most businesses know that Social Media can be a powerful marketing tool, but many still aren’t using metrics insights to maximize on that power.

Instead, many businesses create social media accounts and start posting, glancing at built-in analytics and either getting excited or feeling confused or disappointed over results.  By aggressively utilizing metrics, you can track progress, and build on and improve strategies.

Here are 6 reasons your business needs to track Social Media metrics:

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December 17th, 2013

Don’t stress this holiday

Don’t stress this holiday

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and the crunch of year-end deadlines looming, take comfort in the fact that while you’re preoccupied, we’re watching your shop.

This season is a particularly important time to make sure that the online arena for your business is free from cyber bullies or others whose ill-used words could negatively affect your operations. This time of year seems to bring out the trolls – and the grinches – who infiltrate sites with spam and wreak havoc on an otherwise enjoyable online experience.

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January 16th, 2013

Scout Moderation represents you!

Scout Moderation represents you!

photo credit:  US Library of Congress

Abraham Lincoln has certainly been on our radar these days.  A small piece of his presidency is highlighted in the Golden Globe-nominated film Lincoln by director Steven Spielberg, featuring a tour-de-force performance by Daniel Day-Lewis as Honest Abe.

While the film covers the last four months of Lincoln’s presidency as he worked to abolish slavery in 1865, it also depicts Lincoln’s gift for making memorable speeches.  The 16th president of the United States was very quotable, to say the least.  Many sayings attributed to him still resonate today, including these words he once made famous: “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.”

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November 12th, 2012

Multilingual moderation

Multilingual moderation

Photo credit: FuzzBones, Shutterstock

“Think globally, act locally.”  That’s a motto that has guided many of us for years, and while that’s still important, when it comes to your business, you can now act globally, too.

Use of the Internet is exploding in foreign countries, with websites being translated into hundreds of different languages.  If you’ve got something to sell, promote or proclaim, consider creating sites in multiple languages, and treat them as you would your English-language presence.  Get the gist of your message to online consumers in words the audience can understand.

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June 19th, 2012

Happy Social Media Day!

Happy Social Media Day!

image credit:  mashable.com

These days, every day seems like a Social Media Day, but you can officially celebrate on June 30.

Mashable.com, an engaging online news source for the “Connected Generation,” is marking the importance of social media that day for users all over the world.  This is the third year in a row that the company has recognized the “digital revolution happening right before our eyes.”

Everyone is invited to host or attend a Meetup in their area to note the occasion.

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